Introduction to TCM

Basics of TCM

  • Yin-Yang | Five Elements

Zang-Fu Theories

  • Zang Organs | Fu Organs

Classification of Antineoplastic Herbal Medicines

Characteristics of Herbal Medicines


  • By Auscultation & Olfaction
  • By Inspection


Theories of Channels (Meridians) and Collaterals

Reference: A Modern View of the Immune System

Differentiation of Syndromes

  • 8 Principles
  • 6 Channels 4 Stages
  • Syndromes of Zang-Fu Organs


  • Exogenous | Pestilential
  • Pathogenic Factors
  • Emotional

Materia Medica

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Body Palpation

This is a diagnostic method to ascertain abnormal changes in the body and to determine the location and nature of the disease through palpation and finger pressure.

Palpating the Skin and Muscle

Generally, if there is excessive pathogenic heat in the body, the patient will usually have heat on the body surface. Yang qi deficiency has a cold body surface on palpation. If the surface feels hot on first palpation becoming slightly hotter when you palpate longer, this indicates that the pathogenic heat has proceeded from the exterior to the interior of the body. Body palpation showing moist and smooth skin demonstrates that the body fluid is not yet damaged. If the skin and nails are very dry, this indicates consumption of the body fluids. If body palpation shows swelling and further pressure makes a depression, this indicates edema. If a depression appears on pressure and disappears after taking the hand away, this indicates qi distension. Palpating the skin can also indicate the patient's sweat condition.

Palpating Hands and Feet

Coldness of the four extremities is mostly due to yang deficiency and excessive pathogenic cold. An overheating of the four extremities indicates excessive heat. Coldness of the four extremities with heat in the chest and abdomen is due to the retention of internal heat preventing the flow of yang qi outward. Heat in the dorsum of the hand is a sign of disease caused by exogenous pathogenic factors.

Palpating the Epigastrium and Abdomen

If the patient has fullness and distention of the hypochondrium, palpation may demonstrate hardness and pain in this region. This is known as an accumulation of excessive pathogenic factors in the chest of the xu type. If the hardness extends over a large area in the chest, it is due to phlegm-humor.

Palpation of the abdomen showing abdominal distention with a tympanitic note on percussion, but with normal urination, indicates qi tympanites. Abdominal distension with a splashing sound like water, and accompanying dysuria indicates was tympanites or ascites. If hand pressure relieves the abdominal pain, it is considered to be a xu type; if the pain is made worse by pressure, it is a shi type. Immovable hard masses in the abdomen with pain fixed in a certain area are due to blood stasis. However, if the patient feels that lumps sometimes appear and disappear with unfixed pain, and palpation of the abdomen shows they do not exist, then this is due to qi stagnation.

Palpating Channels and Points

Clinical practice proves that in some diseases there may occur tenderness or abnormal reactions along the courses of the affected channels or at certain points. These signs have significance in diagnosis by palpation, especially in acupuncture treatment. For example, there may be tenderness at Pt. Zhongfu or Pt. Shufu, which are closely related to the disorders of the lung and trachea. In diseases of the heart and stomach, tenderness may occur at Pt. Jugue of Ren, Pt. Zhongwan of Ren, Pt. Burong, or Pt. Liangmen. In disorders of the liver and gall bladder, tenderness may be at Pt. Qimen and Pt. Riye. In diseases of the spleen, tenderness may occur at Pt. Zhangmen and Pt. Huangmen. In disorders of the kidney, Pt. Jingmen and Pt. Zhishi may have tenderness. Tenderness at Pt. Tianshu. Pt. Daji and Pt. Fujie may be closely related to disorders of the intestines. Tenderness at Pt. Guanyan, Pt. Qihai and Pt. Zhongji may have a close relation with disorders of the urinogenital system. When there are abnormal reactions appearing at the above points, they may reflect pathological changes of the related zang or fu organs.

Read more on Pulse Feeling.

Traditional Chinese Medicine pages by Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA FRSA FRSPH

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With over 3000 years of experience, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has remain one of the many fascinating areas in ancient Chinese culture. First known to be documented in the Yellow Emperor's Canon of Medicine, TCM is believed to have been practised in as early as 475 to 221 B.C. The field of working knowledge of TCM stretches from anything related to general healthcare practice to the philosophy of the mind, the logic of life, religion, and even to as far as cosmology and astronumerology. This is why in order to thoroughly understand the concepts behind TCM, one must be comprehensive in learning and embracing the Chinese culture as a whole.

Just as Douglas Hoff put it when he explained about accupuncture, "The systems of TCM uses the concepts of elements and meridians and are completely immersed in the Asian cosmology which takes shape through the religions." The meridian-brain mechanism, the fundamental working concept of acupuncture, in which the pain block from the message that the needle or burning cone of herbs gives to the point of stimulus, was only found centuries later by the West through science and technology.


Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA Thank you for visiting this TCM and acupuncture information website. If you have previously been to this website, you might have noticed that some of the pages on ancient historical ideas and holistic thinkings related to Chinese metaphysics are temporarily taken offline. This is because I will be revamping the whole website and be moving those information into a new \"Ancient Chinese Culture\" section so as to reflect a more current perspective on the interpretation of some of the fundamental concepts as well as to include some of the latest information in the area. But if you have just found this website for the very first time, I welcome you again and wish you could find what you require and, hopefully, you could also be benefitted from reading the articles I published on this website.

Please be patient and do come and check out this website frequently as it's being revamped.

Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA FRSA FRSPH

March 28, 2020.


This website is published, edited and designed by Raymond Cheng, and reflects only and only his personal views and opinions in his individual capacity. The information available at this website is not intended directly or by implication to either diagnose or treat any medical, emotional, or psychological condition or disorder. It is also not intended to create a physician-patient relationship between you and I or between you and Wyith Institute™ and The Office of Dr Raymond K K Cheng. The information here is not a substitute for advice and treatment provided by your physician or by another healthcare professional. It is always recommended that consultation with local healthcare providers be obtained for any of your specific health or medical concerns. Furthermore, any products that can be purchased (yet you can see I don't have much to sell here) through advertisers' banners or through links to other websites are not either explicitly or implicitly given any warranty or endorsement by me, my colleagues, Wyith Institute™ or any of its associated businesses.